Emmy-nominated David Oyelowo has signed on to star alongside Gugu Mbatha-Raw in The Girl Before, a four-episode limited series based on JP Delaney’s best-selling psychological thriller, from BBC One and 42.
As Deadline reported in January, HBO Max was considered the U.S. frontrunner to co-produce with BBC One and 42, and that is now official. The limited series will stream in the U.S. on HBO Max and will air on BBC One and BBC iPlayer in the UK, with WarnerMedia also controlling rights for additional select territories around the world. Emmy-nominated Lisa Brühlmann (Killing Eve, Servant) will direct and executive produce.
Created, written and executive produced by Delaney, The Girl Before tells the story of Jane (Mbatha-Raw), who gets the chance to move into a beautiful, ultra-minimalist house designed by an enigmatic architect (Oyelowo). There’s just one catch: occupants have to abide by his list of exacting rules. Jane starts to feel the house changing her in unexpected ways but, when she makes the shocking discovery that her predecessor Emma died in the house, she’s forced to confront unnerving similarities. As the two women’s timelines interweave, Jane begins to question if her fate will be the same as the girl before.
Eleanor Moran, Rory Aitken and Ben Pugh will executive produce for 42, Ben Irving for the BBC, and Brühlmann. Rhonda Smith will produce and Mbatha-Raw is an associate producer. Marissa Lestrade (White Stork, Deep State 2) will co-write episodes of the series. ITV Studios is the international distributor and brokered the co-commission deal with HBO Max.
A global bestseller, The Girl Before has sold over one million copies since its publication in 2016. It is published by Quercus in the UK and Ballantine in the U.S.
Oyelowo next will be seen in Lionsgate’s Chaos Walking with Daisy Ridley and Tom Holland, as well as, Sony’s Peter Rabbit 2: The Runaway with Rose Byrne and Domhnall Gleeson, both being released this year. Oyelowo is currently in production on Searchlight Pictures untitled murder mystery thriller, in which he stars alongside Saoirse Ronan and Sam Rockwell.